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Dynamic Warm Up For High Performance Workouts

Written by Ryan Murdock

Are you warming up before you hit it hard?

If you answered “no”, then I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad gnus… You’re selling yourself short. And you’re cheating your workout.

Yes, performing a thorough warmup lowers your likelihood of injury. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to very many people. But did you know that a smart warm up also maximizes muscle stimulation and growth? That should make you perk up those puppy dog ears and take notice. Because that means you’ll get results faster.

How? You’ll be stimulating blood flow, which means more oxygen and nutrients get delivered right where you need them — to those hungry muscles. You’re also firing up your nervous system, which improves your performance by priming your body for complex, coordinated movement. And of course avoiding injury means you’re not sitting on the sidelines thinking yourself thin.

At BodyweightCoach we believe in taking action. We don’t mess around. And so we’ve filmed a fun Dynamic Warm Up routine for you, courtesy of our friend Elliot Hulse. He’s cool, he’s creative, he’s incredibly athletic, and he’s one of the smartest trainers in the BWC Guest Coach arsenal.

Give this one a try before your next training session. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll notice that the movements resemble martial art. That should come as no surprise, because martial arts are the most primal and dynamic movement patterns we have, and good movement gets passed down.

Dynamic Warm Ups work because they prepare your body for optimal performance. They can dramatically increase your range of motion, which preps your body for the demands you’re about to place on it. They can even help stimulate your metabolism, cranking up an even more efficient fat burning furnace.

Are you ready to give it a try? Elliot suggests using movements like lunges, side bends, high knees, jumping jacks, backpedaling, and side lunges before your next training session. It only takes ten minutes, but the results contribute to a lifetime of optimal health and enhanced performance.

Take a crack at our sample warm up today. And if you’ve got any questions for Elliot, post ‘em in the comments below.

About the author

Ryan Murdock


  • Great dynamic warm-up, I would add a high knee hug after the lunge before quad stretch.
    I love star lunges so these arm variations are a great addition, how about using a single Clubbell for a third ‘workout’ round (holding parallel to floor) with barrel on inside (closest to C of G) and knob on outside then progress to fourth round with barrel on outside and knob on inside.
    Alan Intu-flow before wouldn’t go astray either if you have the time. you can do a shortened Intu-flow version.

  • Sorry to tell you that, but this is the worst stretching work out i’ve ever seen.
    The way he do is lunges is wrong. Never let your gnee go further then your toes cause it put to much pressure on the knee cap.
    Master 5th dan in taekwondo

    • Hi Alain,
      I can certainly see why you think that is true. It’s a piece of advice that we commonly give out. But it’s mainly to protect anyone who has pre-existing knee conditions. Physiologically, there really isn’t any reason that a healthy knee shouldn’t flex beyond the toes. Weightlifters are an excellent example with healthy knees. And as a martial artist you should recognize that some of the most ancient forms of your art have numerous movements in which the knee safely moves WAY beyond the toes.

      • If forward knees were such a rampant problem, you would see every single Asian on crutches or in a wheel chair by the time their 33. If you’ve ever done knee extensions on the machine, I bet you’ve never even batted an eye at how far behind your feet go in relations to your knee, huh? To top off this misconception, I do rehab work for patients with knee conditions. And what are some exercises I utilize for their program? You guessed it, exercises that have their knees go beyond their toes — TKE’s, one-legged squats with bands, and slideboard lunges with bands.

      • With Adam, most people I have treated with knee issues do not/can’t flex knee over ankle.
        Get mobile, strong to reduce issues.

  • As a trainer, I understand Alain’s concern with the knees way past the toes. It’s something I point out to my clients when we’re learning lunges, etc. But I inform them that the critical component has to do with the center of gravity. As you see from the great examples in the photos above, there are many (most) exercises/positions where the knee is extended well beyond the front of the toe (safely) – yet the center of gravity is not. There are VERY RARE times when having the knee beyond the front of the toe is dangerous only because the center of gravity is also very much in front of the toe – which can overload the patellar tendon if/when excessive force is applied. I have a client who actually ripped quadricep muscles away from the patellar tendon on both legs after falling. “How far did you fall?!” I asked. Less than 3 feet – but he landed on his feet, bent knees, (yes, way over the toes) and upper body also WAY over the front of his toes. He tried to catch himself in this very unusual position and actually ripped the quads away (not completely on both). So I believe it’s important for people to know that although it is possible to get in the wrong, C.O.G over the toe position, it’s rare and kind of hard to do. It’s a little more critical to watch – especially when starting out and /or de-conditioned – because sometimes, usually on lunges, they can reach an unsafe knee-toe position. Also, as Adam pointed out, anyone who has pre-existing knee conditions is at higher risk and should be watched.

  • I liked the video. Can’t wait to try the movements. This is a new e-mail, can you make the necessary changes, thanks

  • Interesting warm up. The only thing I’d say is in that the first part of the warm up, before 2:00, you are holding the moves possibly a little bit too long, so that it is almost like static stretching. Also, why does the warm up begin with a lunge? That’s something that should be towards the middle of a warm up, other wise you run the risk of pulling something same as a static warm up. And as someone above mentioned yes, the knee extending out over the toes is not good form either. But hey man, I appreciate you at least spreading the word that dynamic stretching is the right way to begin a workout!

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